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AODA 2014–2015 deadlines…and things to work on for 2016

As you may be aware, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act contains several obligations that apply at different points in time, depending on whether the organization is a small organization (under 50 employees) or a large organization (50 employees or more), in order to achieve the goal of creating an accessible Ontario. A number of additional requirements take effect January 1, 2015, they include,..

 

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Remedial powers of the Human Rights Tribunal

Often employers are unaware of the pitfalls of becoming embroiled in a Human Rights application. Employers are sometimes shocked to find that the Tribunal’s powers not only lay in monetary awards, but also in non-monetary, as well as future compliance or public interest remedies. If an employer is found to have breached the Code, below are just some examples of such powers and remedies which the Tribunal may order.

 

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Constructive discrimination: The case of Tawney Meiorin

Constructive or adverse discrimination in employment occurs when rules or standards are established that do not discriminate at first glance, but have an adverse effect on persons whose rights are protected under human rights legislation. In such a case, the burden shifts to the employer to establish that such rules or standards are essential to the job, also known as bona fide occupational requirements (BFOR’s. British Columbia (Public Service Employee Relations Commission) v. BCGSEU is the leading case which addresses this issue. This seminal human rights case from the Supreme Court of Canada established a three-part test which has become the standard to evaluate constructive discrimination.

 

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Let’s review: AODA public feedback now open

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) aims to make the province of Ontario fully accessible for people with disabilities by 2025. Since the AODA became law in 2005, Ontario has established accessibility standards for customer service, information and communications, employment, transportation, and the built environment: design of public spaces. There are currently two separate reviews of Ontario’s accessibility laws underway:

 

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Ontario Human Rights Tribunal rules company discriminated against employee with developmental disability by paying her wages of $1.25 per hour

In Garrie v. Janus Joan Inc., the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal severely criticized an employer that was paying an employee with a developmental disability $1.25 an hour and it ordered a significant loss of wages and damage award against it.

 

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Small employers are not complying with Ontario’s new accessibility and employment laws

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According to an AODA Alliance news release and a Nov. 18, 2013, Toronto Star article, the Ontario government fully knows that 70 percent of Ontario private sector organizations with at least 20 employees have not complied with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act’s (AODA) reporting requirements. Reports were due December 31, 2012. This is not surprising because in my experience, most small businesses are simply not aware of the law.

 

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AODA compliance deadlines for January 2014 are quickly approaching

Most employers are aware of their obligations under the Customer Service Standard of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”). However, many employers are not aware of the upcoming requirements under the AODA Integrated Accessibility Standard.

 

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Do you still think that AODA is not your responsibility?

Companies all across Ontario are getting a big wake-up call from the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment when it comes to AODA compliance. The realization that this isn’t something that can just be dismissed is beginning to sink in.

 

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New Liberal Government plans to keep best and brightest and support persons with disabilities in Nova Scotia

The newly elected Liberal government platform states that businesses need workers, and recent graduates and skilled workers need experience. The Liberal government states that it will support young graduates to develop the necessary skills and gain experience in their fields and develop an Accessibility for Nova Scotians with Disabilities Act.

 

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Learn the latest! — AODA compliance: Benefits of being ahead of the game

Recently, some of our clients received a notice from the government reminding them to file an Accessibility Report. This was an eye opener to employers who have let the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), Customer Service compliance deadlines slip through the cracks. Some simply forgot to file. However, others were reminded they have not yet implemented all the Customer Service Standard requirements.

 

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Happy 2014! Well, it will be if you start preparing your multi-year accessibility plan under the AODA now

Businesses know as well as people how quickly a new year can arrive—along with the new obligations that go along with it. In this case, I’m talking about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and multi-year accessibility plans to meet the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation. Large organizations—those with 50 or more employees—must comply by 2014.

 

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Repeat of HRLaw: End of the year wrap up and other legislative changes effective January 1, 2013

We are repeating this December 21 blog post to ensure employers, human resources professionals, payroll specialists, legal advisors, managers and supervisors among others start 2013 on the right foot.

 

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Slaw: Ontario accessibility standards: What comes after the December 31, 2012 reporting deadline?

Ontario’s Accessibility Standard for Customer Service came into effect on January 1, 2012 for all businesses and not-for-profits in the province with more than one employee. If an organization has more than 20 employees, an online report must be filed by December 31, 2012 to demonstrate to the government that accessibility has been achieved under the Customer Service Standard. Many organizations are now asking “what comes next?”

 

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December 31, 2012, AODA: Accessibility reporting deadline fast approaching

Ontario’s Accessibility Standard for Customer Service came into effect on January 1, 2012 for all businesses and not-for-profits in the province with more than one employee. If you have more than 20 employees, you must file an online report by December 31, 2012 to demonstrate to the government that you have achieved accessibility.

 

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OHRC releases consultation report on human rights, mental health and addictions

On Thursday, September 13, 2012, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released Minds That Matter: Report on the consultation on human rights, mental health and addictions, which is the result of what they heard from the consultation across the province and sets out a number of key recommendations and commitments to address human rights issues that affect people with mental health disabilities or addictions.

 

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